Mets will give D.J. Carrasco a chance to earn rotation spot

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When the Mets signed D.J. Carrasco to a two-year, $2.5 million deal earlier this month the assumption was that they’d use him as a middle reliever, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that he’ll likely be given a chance to claim a rotation spot in spring training.

Carrasco has experience as a starter in both the majors and minors, but he really found significant success in the big leagues only after shifting to the bullpen full time in 2008. For his career Carrasco is 5-8 with a 5.01 ERA in 23 starts compared to 18-10 with a 4.03 ERA in 221 relief appearances.

His role will ultimately depend on whether the Mets are able to sign a low-cost veteran starter or two from what’s left on the free agent market and Carrasco’s versatility gives them an additional option, but keeping the 34-year-old right-hander in a bullpen role would probably be the right decision.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.